Documenting my 60 day journey of an hour of daily meditation- 7 mins
I mentioned in my TM article that I’ve been meditating for 4-5 years. I started to reduce my anxiety and increase my awareness. I stuck to it because of my improvement in general happiness and peace. While on the surface - the path to learning how to meditate seems straightforward, in my experience, spending more time with learning and practicing different mediation techniques has proven an effective way to build my foundation.
I’ve tried guided (numerous apps), and unguided meditations. I’ve experimented with TM (lasting 2 years) and I’ve experimented with breathing meditation. Each has provided its own benefit to me in my meditation journey. And recently, I came across a periscope video1 of Naval Ravikant2 talking about his meditation practice. This intrigued me. I tried it out, and I definitely think this is a very simple but effective technique when you want to ground yourself. And so with this article - I aim to explain what it is -
Naval’s meditation practice and 60-day meditation challenge
Naval’s daily meditation practice involves sitting an hour in the morning and just observing his thoughts, or lack thereof. The reason he decided to take this approach? - he mentions that shorter meditations (<=20 mins), did not give him the benefits he got from an hour of meditation.
That got me thinking. There are times I have so much going on in my life in terms of work, relationships, general stress that a meditation practice for 20 minutes feels incomplete. Don’t get me wrong - I definitely feel calmer, however, it doesn’t take long for me to revert back to my anxious state.
And so I decided to take up his 60-day challenge for meditating for an hour every day. It’s a simple technique that involves doing it first thing in the morning, sitting upright, and just doing… nothing. I also decided to document my journey 10 days into this practice, just so I can look back into my thinking and practice.
In my early days into the practice, I can already see that there are a few benefits I’m getting from this having practiced other meditation techniques for 4-5 years.
Benefits of doing 1-hour meditation
Beyond just the regular benefits of meditation, I noted a couple of others that got me excited to do this practice every day
Venturing beyond your comfort zone
If you’ve been practicing short meditations (<30 mins) for a while and haven’t yet attended a Vipasana retreat, this practice is venturing into unknown territory. For me, this felt refreshingly new. Being 10 days in, the calmness I’ve felt in the last 15-20 mins of my practice daily is what I keep coming back for. It’s a new territory of meditation practice time that I haven’t experimented with, so this is what I decided to take up as a challenge to learn more about myself.
Trains on boredom
1-hour of practice to do absolutely nothing certainly gets you bored. But boredom is good. When technology around us is bombarding us with dopamine inducing news, social updates, etc, its good to be at a place where being bored feels okay. It reduces the temptation to always get the latest updates from your news source and social media apps. This is the need of the hour.
Create your own - 30 min / 30-day meditation challenge or 60-day challenge
If you’re new to meditation, and you’re intrigued with this practice - I would suggest starting small. Do a 30 min everyday 30-day meditation challenge. Observe whether that practice is adding to your life. Does it make you happier? Does it make you more peaceful?
You could even start with a 15 min for a 15-day challenge to test the waters. When you feel more comfortable with being ‘bored’, I would highly suggest doing an hour of meditation to see how it feels different from smaller duration practices.
Documenting my journey through Naval’s 60-day meditation challenge
I am currently on Day 12 of the 1-hour meditation practice. I’ve decided to keep this page updated as a reference to how I’ve felt after each day of my meditation practice. I wish I had done this from day 1 itself to see how my feelings about this practice have changed - but its better late than never.
Days 1-9 - I didn’t document my journey every day, however - there was a trend I noticed. In the last 15-20 mins of practice, I felt a lot lot calmer than when I started. My general focus also improves during this time of practice.
Day 10 - I felt calmer than I’ve ever felt in my meditation practice.
Day 11 - Started off feeling a bit restless. This could’ve been since I decided to check on the news first thing in the morning. Started off by sitting on my yoga mat, but moved to my chair at the first hit of leg cramping. At 36 mins, being full-of-thoughts, I decided to check the time remaining. Again, I noticed my state with 5-15 mins left - massive grounding and calmness.
Day 12 - Practice was a bit distracted today. I have an upcoming trip planned to Hawaii and there’s a lot of things to look into. I was mostly thinking about that before I brought myself back to my breath. It took me a while to settle down.
Day 13 - A little distracted in the practice. Had to stop with 2 minutes left to go since I had a work meeting.
Day 14 - Meditation was peaceful except when it was interupted by construction work outside my apartment.
Day 15 - Woke up earlier than usual to start meditating. Did not feel as calm towards the end as I usually do. Maybe I had too many thoughts going on in my head.
Day 16 - Somedays sitting for an hour of meditation is tough mentally. Today was that day. However, the feeling of accomplishment when you’re done with your practice makes up.
Day 17 - Meditated on a flight since I left early in the morning. Not the same experience but its surprising how calm things can be on a flight.
Day 18 - Meditated for a shorter session. Only because I want to stick with my habit of meditation and not let this go.
Day 19 - Mediated with a timelapse video today. I was a bit itchy since I was meditating on the balcony at the sunrise.
Day 20 [Feb 15, 2021] - Restricted myself to a 30 minute meditation with another 30 minutes of observing the space around me in beautiful Hawaii
Day 21 [Feb 16, 2021] - Meditated in the afternoon today, too much noise outside but its that sweet spot of being 30 minutes into the meditation when all the noise slowly starts to minimuze in your head.
Day 22 [Feb 17, 2021] - Hawaii making me meditate in the afternoons because mornings have become too busy and I have to say I like it. Lot of noise outside in the afternoon but still very relaxing after a long day of work.
Annnddd my Hawaii trip is making it super hard to follow up on dedicating 1 hour to meditation. I will follow back with this when I’m back.
“Naval’s Periscope Session (10/9/18) - Part 1 • Podcast Notes.” Podcast Notes, 27 June 2019, podcastnotes.org/naval-periscope-sessions/naval-periscope-10-9-18-part-1. ↩
If you don’t know him, I suggest checking out his twitter. He’s an angel investor and a modern-day philosopher that has definitely influenced my thinking. ↩